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Eviction settlement fund created to help people facing evictions due to COVID-19

A $2 million eviction settlement fund was created to settle tenant debts for residents facing COVID-19 related evictions.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are 9,000 eviction cases pending in the Shelby County courts and that number is expected to grow due to COVID-19.

For evictions attributed to COVID-19 losses, an eviction settlement fund has been created in collaboration of the City of Memphis, Shelby County and local organizations.

“Our goal is to try and use these resources to help those that are at the most risk of becoming homeless as a result of this," Paul Young, Memphis Director of Housing and Community Development, said.

This week, an online application on home901.org launched for tenants facing evictions. People can fill out a form to get legal assistance and funding to settle any debts with landlords.

The fund currently has $2 million, mostly allocated from the CARES Act, put aside for eviction settlements designed to keep people in their homes.

“It’s also an opportunity to allow the tenant to get back on their feet, to stabilize their housing situation," Young said. "We are in the midst of a pandemic and so putting them out on the streets right now is not good for their health, not good for their well being.”

Dorcas Young Griffin, Director of Shelby County Community Services Agency, said the work will be made possible through a partnership with Memphis Area Legal Services who will negotiate with property owners on settlement deals.

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"In addition to the legal services, tenants will be linked to long term financial counseling and services that may be helpful to decrease the likelihood of future eviction proceedings," Young Griffin said.

The fund isn't available for people not being evicted. 

People in need of rent or bill assistance can reach out to the Shelby County Community Services Agency.

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